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One Million Steps for Florida’s Kids

Lawton “Bud” Chiles, president of The Lawton Chiles Foundation, will visit DeLand as a part of his statewide walk of One Million Steps For Florida’s Kids. Walking is a tradition in the Chiles family – Bud’s father, Governor Chiles, walked more than 1,000 miles across Florida during his 1970 Senate campaign. Bud is walking one million steps – nearly 600 miles – around Florida to collect one million pledges for the Worst To First (www.worsttofirst.org) initiative to improve investments in children’s health and education.

While in DeLand, Chiles will visit The Museum of Florida Art to learn about their Education Program, which offers a wide range of educational opportunities for children through exposure to the arts. The Museum’s education programs are developed around its permanent collection, including Legendary Florida, and its changing exhibitions of Florida artists. Programs include tours, in-school visits and web materials that are aligned with Sunshine State Standards and can be adapted to specific classroom curriculum.

Susan Burke, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance for Arts Education, explained the importance of arts education. “The educational programs at the Museum of Florida Art are wonderful models of the power of arts education,” said Burke. “Through the arts, students learn about Florida culture while they build academic skills.”

Chiles anticipates he will resume his walk on Highway 17 South from DeLand to DeBary with renewed inspiration from his visit to the Museum.

“We are pleased to host Bud Chiles in his efforts to promote innovation and education for all children,” said Linda Dorian, the President of the Museum of Florida Art Board of Trustees. “Here at the Museum of Florida Art, we have learned that art and academic performance in other disciplines – often considered core academic subjects – are inextricably linked. Exposure to the art of the Legendary Florida collection by Jackson Walker, which is displayed at the Historic Volusia County Courthouse, has been combined with history, literature, music and math subject for 4th graders to make learning more relevant and more fun. The results have been improved academic performance, especially in areas of reading and writing.

“Art and education go hand-in-hand to improve educational performance and student learning. As responsible adults, we are committed to improve educational opportunities for all children in Florida.”

Chiles will be observing a school tour of Paradoxes Portrayed: Drawings and Assemblages by Ummarid Eitharong while at the Museum from 12:00 – 1:00 pm, and will be given a private tour of the exhibition by Executive Director Jennifer Coolidge. During this time, the press is invited for photo opportunities and to learn more about the Worst to First initiative and One Million Steps for Florida’s Kids. Following this, at 2:00 pm, the public will be invited to participate in this event.

One Million Steps For Florida’s Kids started in Century, Florida, on September 20, 2009, honoring the historic walk of Gov. Chiles in 1970 as he ran for the U.S. Senate. Bud has already walked more than 200 miles, or 350,000 steps – from Century to Pensacola in Escambia County, from Pace to Floridale in Santa Rosa County, from Midway to Chattahoochee in Gadsden County, from Sneads to Marianna in Jackson County, from Jackson County to Taylor County, St. Augustine in St. John’s County, and in Jacksonville, Gainesville, Ocala, Daytona Beach and Dade City.